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by Shaz K

Can I Use QR Codes for Inventory?

Tuesday 21, Apr 2020

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Did you know that QR codes were made for inventory? It’s true! In the early 1990s, Japanese developers released the QR code in response to merchants’ requests for more inventory-tracking data than a barcode contains. So, although QR codes are famous for giving quick access to a website or the number one song on pop charts, their origin is in inventory.

Can I Use QR Codes for Inventory?

Yes! QR codes are ideal for inventory tracking. A single QR code holds more than 7000 numbers—or 4000 alphanumeric characters. The storage capacity of a QR code far exceeds the limitations of its revered granddaddy—a one-dimensional barcode that holds 20 characters. You’ll have better, faster data for inventory management.

How to Use QR Codes for Inventory

You can start by creating a list of products, assets, processes, or services that you want to track with QR codes. And follow the steps below:

  • Determine the label sizes you need for your products or services
  • Create QR codes
  •  Print and test QR code labels
  •  Scan the codes into inventory management software

Creating and printing QR codes

Find an online QR code generator that creates codes for inventory and is compatible with a variety of devices. You’ll also need a quality barcode printer and durable labels.

Instead of entering all your products in a QR code generator, start with a sample. If you decide that a QR code generator doesn’t meet your needs, you’ll want to test a different one. Use your list of products or services to complete the following steps:

  • Follow the prompts in the QR code generator and enter details about your products or services.
  • Customize the details as needed.
  • Download the QR code, print it, and scan it to test for speed and accuracy. You can use a handheld scanner or a QR code reader app on your mobile device.
  • Print labels for a variety of items, apply them to your products, and scan them as a quality check.

Selecting Inventory Management Software

An inventory app being used on a laptop shows barcodes and QR codes being created, scanned and printed.

Look for inventory management software that uses QR codes to help you track and analyze inventory. In a single scan, you’ll upload more details than a barcode provides and spend less time on manual entries for customization. There are other advantages of using QR codes for inventory:

  • Conveniently scan with a mobile device
  • Get real-time data that’s easy to sort, filter, and categorize
  • Receive stock alerts or date reminders related to your inventory
  • Manage your inventory across multiple business locations from your desktop, laptop, tablet, iPad, or mobile device
  • Share access with other users and set access permissions
  • Print QR code labels

Before you choose inventory management software, list the problems you need it to solve. Some of the software capabilities many businesses look for include:

  • Customizable
  • Compatible with operating systems and devices used by your business
  • Upgrades to grow with your business
  • Functions across multiple business locations

Want to use QR codes to make your inventorying way more intuitive? Start a free trial of Sortly today!

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